March 22, 2013 |
A fraught romantic comedy shot through with anxiety about getting your child into an Ivy League school or else, "Admission" stars Tina Fey as a Princeton University admissions officer with a secret. Her genial foil is Paul Rudd, who runs a rural New Hampshire high school that's a progressive Eden of alternative educational grooviness. How these two nice, attractive, funny people find each other is up to the machinery of the source material, a novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz, adapted with mixed success for the screen by Karen Croner and directed with a calming glow by Paul Weitz, whose attention to relational detail was evident in "About a Boy," "In Good Company" and, more recently, "Being Flynn.
March 18, 2013 |
After a 911 call, a disastrous haircut, an alcoholic relapse, two Q-Tip-related emergencies and countless stalker-y emails and text messages, Adam and Hannah, the oddball couple at the center of “Girls,” are finally back together. Yay, I guess? On Sunday night a season of “Girls” that had increasingly begun to feel like a premium-cable version of “My Strange Addiction” suddenly -- and not altogether convincingly -- morphed into a romantic comedy, complete with a sentimental and semi-absurd reunion that found Adam, bare-chested as usual, racing down the street to rescue his house-bound and unhinged ex. (In a sure sign of their compatability, Hannah eschews pants nearly as emphatically as Adam rejects shirts; together they make a whole outfit.)
January 17, 2013 |
There are slivers of wit embedded in the broad shtick of "Let My People Go!," a home-for-the-holidays romantic comedy for which home is a noisy Parisian clan, the holiday is Passover and the prodigal son is a gay 30ish mailman whose usual state of mind is the tizzies. The road to the inevitable slapsticky Seder is paved with more sweetness than bite, a good deal of frantic foolishness and progressively thinner laughs, all wrapped in a message of acceptance and inclusiveness. Scripted by first-time director Mikael Buch and art-house auteur Christophe Honoré, the farce is by turns fresh and fusty.
December 27, 2012 |
The American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre has the perfect antidote for holiday blues -- a series of classic comedies from the golden age of Hollywood. "Screwball Comedy Classics for the 2013 New Year" serves up 1947's "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" Thursday evening. Cary Grant stars as the bachelor and Shirley Temple is the bobby-soxer who has a crush on him. Myrna Loy plays her older sister who also thinks Grant is quite dishy. Sidney Sheldon won an Oscar for his screenplay. Rounding out the double bill is an even funnier romantic comedy, 1943's "The More the Merrier," directed by George Stevens and starring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea and supporting actor Oscar winner for the film, Charles Coburn.
December 20, 2012 |
The South Korean import "Whatcha Wearin'?" is as sweet and silly and, at times, raunchy as any Hollywood-hatched romantic comedy. Still, even if it's not all that distinguishable from its stateside brethren, the film manages enough sparkly charm and warm comedy to offer a few hours of featherweight fun. The meet-cute here between the recently dumped Hyun-Seung (Ji Sung) and the long-partnered Yun-jung (Kim Ah-joong) involves an accidental phone sex session that's contrived, but also amusing and sexy.
November 29, 2012 |
With its stock characters and low-expectation high jinks, the German import "What a Man" could have been fabricated on the Hollywood rom-com assembly line. The directing debut of screen star Matthias Schweighöfer, who also co-scripted and plays the lead, fits all too neatly into a familiar mold: In romantic crisis, a milquetoast does a bunch of stupid things on the way to finding true love and locating his spine. The formulaic aspect wouldn't be a problem, though, if the material (co-written by Doron Wisotzky)
September 24, 2012 |
Mindy Kaling, who was Kelly Kapoor on "The Office" and also one of that show's writers, has her own series now, "The Mindy Project," premiering Tuesday on Fox. It is possible that I have a small crush on the creator and star - inspired in no small part by her writing, as published in various magazines and her comic-essays memoir, "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)" - so I may not be entirely reliable on this subject. But, to the degree I can be objective, I like this a lot. Needy and controlling and terribly sure of herself, Kelly Kapoor was a handful.
September 20, 2012 |
In "You May Not Kiss The Bride," written and directed by Rob Hedden, a pet photographer (Dave Annable) is strong-armed into marrying the daughter of an Eastern European mobster so she can stay in the United States. This being an innocuous romantic comedy, the mobster is played by Ken Davitian from "Borat" and the daughter by "Smash" star Katharine McPhee. After the young couple goes on a South Pacific honeymoon, intended as a show of their true union for immigration officials, they (surprise!
August 2, 2012 |
What's an almost perfect couple to do if the relationship works, but their marriage doesn't? Divorce, of course, but stay best friends. The breezy, ironic indie "Celeste and Jesse Forever,"starring Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg, attempts to figure out if that's even possible. Written by Jones and Will McCormack, who plays a stoner buddy, the romantic comedy is loosely based on their own experiences of dating and trying to remain friends after the breakup. Jones and McCormack worked their way through the issues by writing the screenplay, their first.